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-   -   how to flavor question (http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f30/how-flavor-question-219459/)

Rivin 01-21-2011 05:16 AM

how to flavor question
Hello, ive made a little mead before and am making some now but I have a question for the future. I was thinking of making some spruce mead because im in Alaska and my question is would it be better to infuse the spruce with water and use that in the mead recipe or make spruce syrup to replace some of the honey in the recipe.

jguy898 01-21-2011 02:11 PM

You mean like, actual Spruce Pine? Does it have berries on it that you're using for flavoring? I used to cut down pine after pine after pine, and I just can't imagine that smell as a taste. :confused:

What exactly are you going for here?


Rivin 01-22-2011 03:23 AM

yes actual sitka spruce, like you can get birch syrup like maple syrup. I once had spruce beer, like root beer but flavored with spruce. here is a store were you can get birch syrup which is smiler to what i want. http://www.alaskabirchsyrup.com/albipr.html

fatbloke 01-22-2011 07:54 AM

Well whether you'd use "berries" or "tap" the tree for some sap like with birch sap or maple, there's the 3 main ways of flavouring a mead.

Add the flavour to primary and then ferment.

Add the flavour to secondary.

Add the flavour to tertiary/post ferment.

Now presuming that the berries or sap or whatever it is that you use, it's fair to point out that flavourings added to primary, can, depending on the yeast used, reduce the amount of flavour, as some of the aroma compounds are just blown straight out the airlock.

Putting it in secondary (taking fruit for a slightly more "normal" example), helps as it retains a lot more of the fruit flavour/aroma.

Or, by adding it tertiary/post ferment, normally adds the most amount of the fruit aroma/flavour.

The later suggestions often make for an "earlier drinkable" mead, but can mess with the percentage alcohol (tertialry/post will reduce, while secondary can increase some).

I would go with the last suggestion, as it's probably easier to work out how much/how long depending whether it's berries (or pine cones) or sap. Small tests, using tiny quantities, of weighed or measured sap/berries etc, would then be scalable. So you can add increasing amounts to get the flavour you want/like.

Oh, and if it's possible to add the flavour as a liquid, it's likely to be quicker as you wouldn't have to leave the test/batch etc, to steep/extract the flavour and you'd have some idea about the likely effect of the flavouring.

Dunno if that helps any......



Rivin 01-23-2011 07:30 AM

yes thats exactly what im looking for thank you. I saw a recipe for maple mead once and having had the spruce beer before I thought this might be interesting to try.

Agnar 03-02-2013 08:58 PM

So Riven, to revive this a little, how did the spruce mead turn out and what was the recipe? I've got a nice spruce in the back and was thinking of using some needles. Would use the juniper but can't seem to verify that it's not the toxic kind.


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